The Bay Leaf, found in most kitchens comes from the Laurel family and is a popular culinary herb used in soups, stews and Mediterranean foods.The bay leaf plant can be found in North American and European gardens.
Are Bay Leaves Poisonous?
Ancient Romans used the bay leaves to create bay leaf crowns to be worn by athletes, poets and warriors as crowns of distinction. Today the Bay Leaf is mainly used for cooking and is removed from the dish before serving. Bay leaves are not poisonous.
Bay leaves themselves are safe to eat, however bitter tasting and remains stiff even after cooking creating the possibility of choking or cutting the mouth and throat and therefore is not recommended to eat, but to use to enhance flavour and then remove the bay leaves from the tea or food prior to serving.
Are Bay Leaves Toxic if Ingested?A cousin of the Bay Leaf Plant; Mountain Laurel was once confused for the culinary Bay Leaf and is poisonous to livestock and not sold anywhere for use as a spice, herb or food source. It is believed though that this poisonous variety is the reason it is said to remove the Bay Leaf before serving foods cooked with Bay Leaves, and why many people wonder if you can eat bay leaves.
Bay Leaf Tea
Herbal Tea Recipe
A mild tea can be made with Bay Leaves by boiling two leaves in a pint of water for 10 to 15 minutes. This tea can be drank warm or added to bath water for a soothing and fragrant treat.
Bay Leaf Uses & Herbal Remedies
Benefits of Bay Leaves
Bay Leaves are used in many culinary dishes such as soups, stews and meat dishes as well as many Mediterranean recipes.
Bay leaves hardy, aromatic and appealing looks make this a chosen herb for decorations, wreaths and other craft projects.
A tea made of Bay Leaves can be used to help get rid of headaches and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. You may also chew the leaf; however it is bitter tasting and should not be swallowed.
Bay Leaf oil can be used to treat bruises and sprains as well as ear pain when dropped in the ear.
Bay Leaf Folklore
Bay Leaves are thought to ward off evil or sprinkled on the floor and swept away taking with it any jinxes that were placed on you.
Bay Leaf Herb Cautions
Although bitter, the Bay Leaf is often chewed to rid oneself from headache and inflammation; however, avoid swallowing the Bay leaf as it is difficult to swallow and can injure the throat and esophagus or cause you to choke.
Ingesting too much Bay Leaf can induce vomiting and work as a laxative so caution must be made.
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